This hadith is considered to be one of the best and most complete physical descriptions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. I learned that it’s almost impossible to translate the beautiful words into english and here, I’ve tried to collect a few english versions.

When the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) emigrated from Makkah to Madînah, he passed by the tent of Umm Ma`bad. She witnessed some of his miracles, then swore fealty to him in Islam before he departed. When her husband came back, he was surprised to find with her a quantity of milk. He asked her: “Where you have got this from, O Umm Ma`bad, while our sheep is alone and untouched and we have no milk cow in our home?” She said: “Nay, but by Allah, a blessed man passed by our way and did so and so.” He said: “Describe him to me, O Umm Ma`bad.”

VERSION ONE:

She said:
“I saw a man who is handsome, of glowing countenance, and of good proportions, with neither a large stomach nor a small head. He is smart of appearance, with balanced features, deep black eyes, and long eyelashes. His voice is not coarse. He has a long neck, a full rounded beard, and thick eyebrows that meet each other. When he is silent, he is stately and composed, and when he speaks, his appearance is impressive.

“He is the most beautiful and striking man from a distance and the best and most beautiful from close up. He is well spoken, clear in what he says, saying neither too much nor too little, his words flowing forth like a perfect string of pearls.

“He is neither too tall nor overly short, a stately man in the company of two other stately men (one of them was Abu Bakr RA), and he is the most prominent among them and the most well-respected.

“He has companions who surround him. If he speaks, they listen to him, and if he commands, they hasten to fulfill his command. He is well served and attended, though he is neither stern nor argumentative.”


VERSION TWO:

Excerpt from “Biographies of the Prophet’s Companions and their Successors” By Muḥammad ibn Jarīr Ṭabarī, Ella Landau-Tasseron


VERSION THREE:

“I saw a man, pure and clean, with a handsome face and a fine figure. He was not marred by a skinny body, nor was he overly small in the head and neck. He was graceful and elegant, with intensely black eyes and thick eyelashes. There was a huskiness in his voice, and his neck was long. His beard was thick, and his eyebrows were finely arched and joined together. When silent, he was grave and dignified, and when he spoke, glory rose up and overcame him. He was from afar the most beautiful of men and the most glorious, and close up he was the sweetest and the loveliest. He was sweet of speech and articulate, but not petty or trifling. His speech was a string of cascading pearls, measured so that none despaired of its length.”

This hadîth is related by al-Hâkim in al-Mustadrak (3/9-10), al-Tabarânî in al-Mu`jam al-Kabîr (3605), Abû Nu`aym in Dalâ’il al-Nubuwwah (282-278), and al-Lâlikâ’î in I`tiqâd Ahl al-Sunnah (1434-1437).

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